When I got online this morning at work, my google alerts popped up with news of a shooting in Ohio; specifically, a school shooting. I also heard about it through Twitter via Katy (for some reason WordPress won’t let me hyperlink… http://www.kakakakaty.com/), who lives not far from the school where the shooting happened.
These are the things that make my heart, quite literally, sink and my stomach turn and I’m faced with stark fear and dread. I’m overwhelmed by the choices we make for our children everyday: what we feed them, what we allow them to see on television, what we purchase. We teach them about health and exercise and being a good person, about treating others as you want to be treated. We teach them how to hold our hands when we crossing the street, about looking both ways, about not talking to strangers. We help them memorize phone numbers and addresses; we teach them to be responsible and kind.
Where on that list is the line item that tells us how to teach our kids what do to when a fellow student walks in to the cafeteria and starts firing a gun at people? Where is that? Because I can’t explain it, even to myself, and I sure as hell don’t know how to explain something like that to my five year-old.
And we shouldn’t have to be afraid to send our children to school. But I am.
So I, uh… I got a job. I’ve been at home for three years, essentially; I worked full-time while Georgia was little and then left my job when Adele was born (2 kids at full-time daycare + one nonprofit salary = you do the math) and I wanted to do that, anyway. So I had a wonderful three years at home, spending time with Adele and being able to pick Georgia up from preschool at 3 every day. We did music classes, we had playdates, I did photography on weekends, and it worked really well for us. At the beginning of this year, though, we sat down and looked really hard at our budget and it was just time for me to go back. We’ve made a lot of sacrifices over these past few years to keep me at home, and while it worked and was FINE, it was time to make the big change and for me to go back to work.
Georgia is in kindergarten now at an amazing school downtown (we love it and she loves it) and Adele is going to the same preschool where Georgia went at her age. Both schools have an afterschool option; Georgia takes Spanish at hers, and A has SPanish and music classes. Truly, we’re so lucky to have options that we’re happy with and that make both girls comfortable. It’s win/win. Well, except for the guilt. Because how can there not be mom guilt involved in all this?
My second week of work (last week) both girls got horribly ill. Ear infections, bronchial infections, antibiotics… the works. And both of them are normally fairly healthy, as it happens; I can’t remember the last time that they were both sick, especially at the same time. But of course, since it was my second week, I really felt like I couldn’t call in sick, so Casey took take two and a half days off work. I took a half day that third day so I could give Casey time to get to his office, and I felt rotten that I couldn’t be at home when my girls both wanted me there. But I also didn’t want my boss to think that I’m going to be the kind of employee who hops off at a moment’s notice, so… you know. Lose/lose situation here. My boss was very understanding and couldn’t have been nicer about it, but you know how it is. SECOND WEEK OF WORK.
In any case, I think the job is a good fit for me, and for my family. It’s pretty flexible, so that’s a good thing, and the people I work with are incredibly nice. It’s a small team, and that’s a nice thing, too. I think the girls are adjusting well (G better than A, understandably) and we’re still managing to eat dinner all together every night and get the girls to bed at a reasonable hour. It’s a little crazy, but I’m sure we can make it work.
Speaking of dinner, I’d like to ask you all a few questions about your dinner routines. Until I started work, I cooked every night. Not an exaggeration; I cooked dinner EVERY NIGHT. We rarely eat out; by rarely, I mean maybe once every two months, and that includes getting takeout or pizza or anything. I cooked every weeknight and usually Saturday, and Casey cooked on Sundays (his meals are way better than mine, btw, because he uses a cookbook and goes out to get the fancy ingredients and I’m all “hey! chicken and broccoli stir-fry and a salad! Enjoy!”) Nowadays, Casey gets home before I do and starts the dinner; last night he cooked pounded breaded pork chops and pasta and garlic-sauteed spinach. I am totally ok with this, by the way. I have no problem with being the cleaner-upper (we have a deal – – whoever cooks doesn’t do the clean up) and it seems to be working well so far. So, in your house, how does your family do dinner? Do you take turns cooking? Do takeout? Do crock-pot cooking? Do you eat all together or feed the kids first? Share the secrets, ya’ll.